Whilst perusing my IM contacts today… the Founder has this as his IM status at the moment…
“Looking for the next bubble”
So I IM’d him and let him know the next bubble is already upon us… the vaunted “social media” craze that currently exists (to which is readily agreed.)
My theory is built around a few undeniable facts:
1) There are shitloads of wankers, liars and bullshit artists selling themselves as “social media experts” – DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
If this is not a warning sign to all…perhaps you should recheck your prescription (optical and/or medicinal) because to become an expert should take the sane person all of a couple of hours to come up with the basics of what their potential company should be doing and why.
Most of the charlatans out there will tell you that you need to invest in a variety of platforms and this should be “organic growth” (or some other bullshit phrase or terminology that is the current word de jour.)
In the immortal words of my good friend Chuck D. of Public Enemy — “Don’t believe the hype”
Social media is just a very small sub-sect of something somewhat commonly referred to as “customer engagement” – and it is vastly more complicated than just being on Facebook, Twitter or another SN wankfest. (Most of that you can get accomplished in under a couple of hours — and with FB they offer all the analytics you need to make a ROI justification so you can do it as a self-service job if you have half a brain.)
If you have real customer engagement — well you have something both valuable & tangible — but trying to justify developing social media strategies as the lone component in the equation is like saying because you can throw a paper airplane, you should be able to guide that A-380 with 500+ passengers on-board to Tokyo next week with no problem.
I know people I have both hired & worked with a lot of people who market/sell themselves them as a “SN expert” these days…and even if they are great people and may be a excellent person to grab a beer and have a chat about the local sports team — they don’t really know shit about the anything about the scope beyond their own small world viewpoint — a world that I could teach you out of an online tutorial in under an hour.
To ask them to actually understand the needs of a multi-national corporation and the requirements that the people in the senior roles within these companies face on a daily basis — well let’s just say you are playing in the very shallow end of the business gene pool when it comes down to brass tacks.
It is the same problem that vexes the agency world these days — a lot of tosspots who know fuck all about nothing trying to sell something to clients that they apparently desperately need (if you are listening to the drivel of the tosspots that is.)
Now I can see why it is like this of course — several current digital agencies pray on their unknowing clients this way — jack them up for huge fees and inflate incredibly complex and lengthy timelines or something that if the client knew how easy it all actually was — well let’s say that the agency and client would soon be parting ways with a flurry of lawsuits soon to follow.
2) For the most part, SN destinations are built on the premise that one day they’ll make money and it is great to get in on the ground floor while the opportunity is there…
This is the Bernie Madoff scheme way of thinking… i.e. there are several large monuments to this type of theory if you happen to visit Egypt…
When is Twitter going to start making $$$ exactly? If you read the reports of Biz Stone’s unveiling of the “@anywhere” platform at SWSX a couple of weeks ago (an aside –what the fuck is that actually supposed to mean?) — well to be kind it vacillated between “floating like a lead balloon” to “re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic” — which is something like one apparently feels when Martin Sorrell speaks on any subject too…
As the Founder has mentioned here a few times before on various stories that have crossed the wires over the past few months — there are shitloads of small start-ups who rely on platforms like Twitter to build out their platform — which is like building a business on false hope if nothing else.
My current favorite is Four Square (4sq.com for the hipsters here) — or as I have dubbed it “Let me rob you of your valuable possessions while you are out making a scene somewhere…” sure “location-based services” (another phrase du jour) will someday be important….but at the moment, there is no business model that supports the bloody thing — other than making you seem like a self-important douchebag for being the “mayor” of your living room or getting a badge like you are some super-efficient boy scout…
I will go further about this (as there are several additional points one could add to validate the argument) but I’m sure you have all resorted to giving me the international “hand job” hand motion (if you have made it this far) and written me off as a cranky bastard while cueing up my “wrap it up” awards ceremony music…so I’m off to develop something sustainable for my clients… check you later…
(and I’ll try and not make it a month-plus before my next post — but can you blame me — there is only so much shit you can stand to shovel and the agency world produces way too much in proportion to its actual impact on society)
In a delicious bit of both irony & hypocrisy (and what would the ad world be without massive heaps of both) — you can sign up for my twitter ramblings (lots of swearing and bashing ensue) here: